Today's Lesson: Sun Tzu's five keys to recognizing situations of that are races without a course.

"You can use some terrain to advance easily.
Others can advance along with you.
This is open terrain."

Sun Tzu's The Art of War 11:1:18-20
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The challenge in an open situation is finding the best way to utilize a given opportunity. The open situation puts us in a contest where the best methods for winning the contest are uncertain because they depend upon the as-yet-unknown potential of the ground. We are forced to choose among alternative routes with the clear probability of choosing the wrong such path.

There are two opportunities for learning in an open situation. One is to learn more about the nature of the ground and how to secure its benefits. The second is to learn from our rivals, by observing their progress along the paths that they have chosen...

Every day, more competitors discover the strategic agility of Sun Tzu.

There are hundreds of books written about "strategy." The work here is different. It teaches skills you can use daily on a personal level. The skills we offer are based on The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Its methods of "strategic agility" allow you to make better decisions more quickly about any of the choices that your job, profession, and life offer you every day.  

Read more for those new to Sun Tzu.

A few easy steps to begin learning about Sun Tzu's competitive methods

As Sun Tzu said, competition is complex. People are usually surprised by how many profitable ideas his approach to competition offers for today's people.  We offer a simple road map for to get you started. The goal is to give you a big picture overview.
Read more about first steps.

A system of success that has survived 2,500 years.

Throughout history, people have rediscovered these success principles through trial and error.  They are described in similar ways in different competitive arenas from sports to politics. Sun Tzu's approach is universal. Read more about how it works.

Competition, conflict, and comparison: the unique perspective of Sun Tzu's science


Competition is a comparison of positions where a choice must be made. Conflict is the result of poor choices. Sun Tzu teaches us how to build up the strength of our position, but conflict always weakens our position. Sun Tzu's strategy is to identify the key points of comparison in a competitive situation. This understanding allows us to make the right decisions. Read more about competition as comparison.

Is globalization creating a more competitive society that we are unprepared to face?

Back when we could plan on staying with the same organizations for a lifetime, we didn't have to decide about our competitive position every day. That world is gone forever. Read more about why today's world requires Sun Tzu's thinking.

Strategy and tactics: how Sun Tzu defines the difference
The process of making the decision choosing a given response to a situation is the whole of our strategy.  Our methods of executing the chosen response is the whole of our tactics . Read more about the key differences between strategy and tactics.

Are you a warrior making decisions or a worker following orders?

Warriors see every task as a personal challenge. Workers put themselves at the mercy of others. Warriors get what they deserve. Workers get what they are given. Read more about today's working warriors.

Nine uncommon skills: the special abilities gained from studying Sun Tzu.

Successful people are not gifted from birth. They are ordinary people who developed a very specific set of skills. Success requires a least a little skill in nine different areas. Read more about these nine skills.

Absolute clarity: distilling The Art of War into a Warrior's Play Book.


Sun Tzu's Art of War Play Book is the culmination of over a decade of work. It breaks down Sun Tzu's verses into a series of step-by-step warrior's rules. It was developed over the years by the Institute's multiple award-winning author and founder, Gary Gagliardi. Read more about the Play Book.

Opening eyes: keys to unlocking the secrets to Art of War strategy

Sun Tzu's book is one of the most valuable works in human history. It is also one of the most difficult to understand. Much of Sun Tzu's writing is based on concepts in traditional Chinese science and philosophy with which modern readers are unfamiliar. Read more about the keys to Sun Tzu.

Is The Art of War the most mistranslated book in history?

No book written in the conceptual ancient Chinese can be completely translated into English prose. The original Chinese has more in common with mathematical formulas than sentences. Read more about translation problems here.

Meet your new robot drill sergeant: on-line training in the Warrior Class

Warrior Class lessons are the core of the Institute's training based on Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Warrior Class Lessons are both challenging and fun. They are also self-paced. Read more about the Warrior Class here.

Sgt. Webb says,"You can read all day, or you can get off your butt and get smart. Try our Free 3-Day Trial of Warrior Class Training!"

Martial arts methodology: learning strategic thinking by doing rather than reading
Warrior Class Lessons force you to make mistakes. By forcing you to make mistakes, they speed your learning and change your thinking. The simple truth is that we all learn many times faster from our mistakes. Read more about our methodology here.

Scholarship and membership have their privileges in good strategy
Scholar membership is our highest level of access to materials for students of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. It gives you access to all our exclusive on-line training material in Sun Tzu's methods. Read more about becoming a scholar member here.

Business war games for fun and profit: strategic training through live competition

The best way to master Sun Tzu's methods is by using them in team exercises that address your organization's current challenges. Our live training teaches attendees to use a variety of strategic tools that produce real results. Read more about our live training programs here.

Basic training: group activities in a lecture environment
Our introductory session, often presented as a meeting keynote, enables you and your group to see your strategic position in an entirely new way. Read more about our orientation training here.

Become a change master! Create more winning ideas in a day than you have all year
Learn adapting to change by doing it! Create winning project ideas by leveraging the opportunities created by the changes in your competitive arena. Read more about our change master boot camp.